INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott Dixon was exhilarated and screaming. He also felt alone, dazed by winning the Indianapolis 500.
A day after the biggest victory of his life, he took a more leisurely spin around Indy. He rode slowly around the 2½-mile oval on a white speedway bus, surrounded by microphones, notepads and cameras. And Monday night, he received a check for almost $3 million, a record prize from the richest purse in open-wheel racing history.
"I don't normally yell too often," he recalled of his Sunday victory. "But I was definitely yelling, and I had a few four-letter words in there as well to the team. Winning here, it's like nothing else.
"I keep saying to people that's the funniest part of it because all you're wanting to do is get back to the pits and enjoy it with everybody else. You feel so alone out there on that (cool-down) lap, and all you can do is talk to them on the radio."
He'll have plenty to talk about now.
Dixon's prize was more than $1 million more than his combined earnings for his five previous starts at Indy and moved his career total in the 500 to $4,881,997, fifth among all drivers.
The 27-year-old New Zealander was "almost dumbfounded" when he got to Victory Lane.
"It's such a strange feeling," he said. "And, for me, I don't show emotions too much. I don't know, it's almost like you're in a dreamland."
Monday morning, Dixon was still struggling for perspective.
"It hasn't really kicked in yet," the new Indy champion said. "I think it's going to take a week or two to really soak it up.
"It's pretty cool. I only just saw the paper. Seeing yourself on the front page and drinking the milk. It's just the little things like that that add to it, you know, and you start to feel the sensation of it."
Dixon took the lead for good in the pits 29 laps from the end, getting out just ahead of eventual runner-up Vitor Meira.
As he rode the media bus at speeds approaching 40 mph -- about 180 mph slower than his fastest laps Sunday -- Dixon enjoyed being the Indy 500 champ. But the 2003 IndyCar champ was also looking toward Sunday's race in Milwaukee.
"That championship in 2003 was a long time ago," Dixon said. "We have another championship to win this year. We'll enjoy this for a few days, then get back to work. I've got much more to do yet, man, much more to do."
HUNTER-REAY TOP ROOKIE -- Ryan Hunter-Reay, the highest finisher in a talented class of 11 first-year drivers in the Indianapolis 500, was selected the race's rookie of the year. The 27-year-old driver for Rahal Letterman Racing started 20th and finished sixth Sunday.